The rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad had only been going on for a few days when he summoned leaders of Christian churches in Syria to his office. Bishops and archbishops representing Catholics, Armenians, Assyrians and any other Christian group listened as their beloved leader made clear to one and all– back me without any conditions or I will unleash the forces of hate and violence within the Muslim community to burn your churches and kill your people.
Events in Iraq, and Egypt have already sent a warning to Christians, many of whom trace their ancestry in the Middle East back over a thousand years. Half the Christian population of Iraq has fled in order to escape persecution or violence from newly empowered Muslim clerics in Iraq. Coptic Christians in Egypt have witnessed their members beaten, their churches burned, and some killed by Muslims shouting desire for “democracy.” Election returns from Egypt reveal Islamist parties will have a majority in parliament and their leaders promise an Egypt operating under Sharia law.
So, what does one do if a Syrian Christian? Fight to end the brutal rule of Bashar al-Assad and be rewarded by empowering Muslim fanatics who will drive your family and friend from the country?